Addison lee attacks rival taxi apps


Addison Lee, a pioneer of iPhone “taxi apps” has rounded on a raft of copycat services which have come onto the market, claiming they can’t be trusted.

The minicab company launched its own smartphone app for booking minicabs to coincide with the first iPhone in 2007 and was featured on the original adverts for Apple’s handset.
Peter Ingram, IT director at Addison Lee has taken a dim view of the dozens of taxi apps, such as Hailo, Uber and GetTaxi, that have rushed to enter the British market. “I’ve seen 26 apps relevant to black cabs and minicabs but none of them have a fleet. They’re just middlemen,” he said.

He argued that they can tell a user a cab is two minutes away but cannot lock the driver into accepting the fare. “When its raining, there’s people hailing cabs on every corner. The cabbie just pulls over for the fare and cancels the other booking. These apps don’t have control of that moment.”

Moving into the smartphone sector early has proved a success and Addison Lee expects to take £50 million in revenue from its iPhone app this year. It has already taken £33 million this year, compared to £23 million for the whole of 2011, with a quarter of all its bookings now made over an iPhone.
Mr Ingram said half of Addison Lee’s bookings come from iPhones on a Saturday night. “We see this as the future. In the next couple of years I can’t see any reason why we won’t get to 70 per cent.”

The app allows Addison Lee to lower its costs as it does not need to hire as many staff to take bookings manually.
Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors have backed the new generation of taxi apps but Mr Ingram remains unconcerned by the threat. “The Addison Lee app doesn’t look as sexy as the other, but it is functional,” he said.

The cab company is set to invest in producing a better version of its app for the Windows and Android operating systems but will spurn the new BlackBerry platform as it does not expect sufficient demand.
The company’s booking statistics provide a fascinating insight into how different smartphone owners use apps. Addison Lee is taking almost 6,500 bookings a day from iPhone customers compared to 1,000 for BlackBerry, 500 for Android and a paltry 20 from Windows.

Mr Ingram said it is willing to back Windows as Microsoft is working with the company on its development and he hopes that usage from Android will begin to pick up.

Source: The Times

7 thoughts on “Addison lee attacks rival taxi apps

  1. What an ridiculous statement to make. If Hailo for instance is going to fail as miserably as you suggest why is it that nearly 9,000 black cabs have joined in just a few months and growing by hundreds every week, A statement like the one you posted sounds like it was composed by mr griffin himself without any evidence and just idle gossip.
    As a London black cab driver who made an important carrier choice after spending 30 years as a plumber I am very proud to have completed the world famous knowledge.
    Addison lee filled a gap in the market and has capitalised on the antiquated ways London radio taxi circuit operated, but that now has all changed due to technology.
    Most customers that seem to be using Hailo, and are travelling in my new cab seem to be hardened former addison lee user’s. and to suggest that once a customer has called for a Hailo cab and the driver accepts but then changes his mind because someone has put there hand up in the street is again ridiculous, if that was the case Hailo would fail dramatically,
    but the opposite is happening. So please in future if you are going to make a statement make sure it’s honest, and not based on professional jealousies.

  2. Further to my last statement, Addison lee are now so alarmed at the rate customers are leaving them. That they have called in outside companies to help them with a new app.
    But to be honest the only way to combat the Hailo threat is they would have to treble there fleet and reduce prices by at least 30% to have any chance of continual growth.

  3. As an Addison lee customer for many years I have switched to hailo and drivers are professional know their way around and have a huge fleet, which Addison lee can’t compete with I personally believe that Addison lee can no longer grow as it is used to, no wonder they have many cars up for sale on hampstead road/granby terrace, I have spoken to their drivers and haven’t seen anyone that is happy working for them every one complains saying that most of the weeks are making a loss and have to pay Addison lee for car insurance etc., I personally believe in a few years time Addison lee will be just like a normal local minicab firm as they will lose all the customers and drivers will leave.

  4. I am a Addison Lee driver and business is booming, we will soon be able to use bus lane. With GPS the knowledge is antiquated, a throwback from the past. They have stopped making the black cab now anyway one of the most polluting vehicle in London. Soon they will be no more black cabs with their customer service challenged drivers and we will have A Addison le comfort car within two minutes anywhere in central London.

    • Your living in cuckoo land,every time your guru mr griffin opens his mouth you loose more work and contracts, you will never use bus lanes in London, it’s was a publicity stunt which backfired due to the fact that the public had realised politicians were being paid by mr griffin to extend his empire. Over seventy companies have shown an interest in LTI, but the Chinese firm Geeli were always going to win the bid. If I were a customer coming to London for the first time, would I won’t to sit in a vehicle with a guy that has decided to spend on average 4 years studying London roads and thousands of land marks, or a guy just off the boat, making a quick buck, proberly can’t read or write English, and would proberly charge me more, and take forever to get there.

      • Oh sorry forgot to mention addison lee customers leaving in there hordes, because of apps like Hailo.

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